Update: The Ladybug Baking Company and Cafe has moved to 312 Bridge St., New Cumberland. Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday. Call them at 717-774-1613.
Chocolate Peanut Butter, Pink Champagne and Lemon Blueberry are three of 39 cake flavors at 2-month-old Ladybug Baking Company and Café (not including the vegan options or 11 caketails, baked with alcohol).
Two-, three- or four-tiered cakes are available to order, but cupcakes might be the most practical way to enjoy the flavors at lunch - or whenever you want to indulge between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Just peruse the sweet displays to the left of the lime green "Order Here" sign.
But, first things first - let's talk breakfast bakes, lunch paninis and sandwiches and soups.
This place, located next to Central Market, is sweeter than the sweets.
Customers order off of chalkboard menus for to-go or dine-in eats. Sandwiches and cakes fill the counter display. But don't worry, the sandwiches in the case aren't the ones you'll be eating - each sandwich is made to order.
Owner Jessica Brooks has a café menu that changes weekly. On any given week, you can find nine breakfast options, nine lunch options and 12 soup options. Muffins, scones, brownies and bagels are also available.
"It's completely fresh," Brooks said. "So, we try and go with whatever is in season. We do local as much as possible.
Fresh means that she roasts all of her own meats in-house - and never uses deli meats. She also slices her own cheeses.
"We are trying to keep it 100 percent quality with a smaller menu," Brooks said.
When I went for lunch, there was a 20-something guy in front of me who was pocketing Ladybug business cards and writing down menu information. He said he just moved to York and had already fallen in love with this place. The lady who ordered after me was an obvious regular (as regular as you can be with a 2-month-old business), because Brooks knew her by name and the customer provided the reason why she'd missed coming in last week.
I, on the other hand, was an undercover Cheap Eats columnist on my first foodie assignment, taking notes about the baby blue accents and handmade travel accessories for sale near the counter.
While I was tempted to wear big sunglasses and a fedora (like Lindsay Lohan trying to avoid photographers) my casual-Friday jeans and peacoat blended in better amid the overly-eager eater and the regular.
Because I'm a planaholic, I'd already made my lunch choice hours earlier, after looking at the online menu: the Savory Roast Pork sandwich, $7.75. The pork was packed in a baguette with provolone, marinated onions, spinach and house mayo. The taste was savory and juiced with a splash of olive oil.
It came with a few slices of bread and butter pickles and a bag of kettle-cooked Martin Potato Chips - which I prefer over a pound of greasy fries.
The sandwich size was perfect, smaller than a 12-inch sub but larger than a hotdog. And, the quality was obvious: It came hot; the meat was tender; the bread was fresh; and the provolone was melted and draped over the meat. It was a pulled pork sandwich with a balsamic tang and a little Italian spice.
I also feel like tea-drinkers would appreciate the house-brewed unsweetened tea, because of its strong (not watery) flavor. I spotted a variety of house lattes, too, for a heavier dose of caffeine.
And, of course, I got the Double Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake - $2 - which was moist, with a rich fudgy chocolate taste with not-too-sweet raspberry preserves that oozed out of the center. Because after all, that's really why I went, right?
Cheap Eats profiles local restaurants, aiming to please our palates and our wallets. Reach Ashley May at 717-771-2053; firstname.lastname@example.org; @AshleyMayTweets.
If you go
Try Ladybug Baking Company's caketails, inspired-by and baked-with alcohol, from 5 to 9 p.m. tomorrow. Here's the caketail list: Mimosa, Margarita, Strawberry Daiquiri, Rum and Eggnog, Mudslide, Coffee and Frangelico, Pina Colada, Chocolate and Chambord, Strawberry Amaretto, Red Sangria, and Absolutely Lemon Blueberry. The café also is open until 9 p.m. First Fridays.
the Ladybug Baking Company & Café
LOCATION: Ladybug Baking Company & Café, 33 N. Beaver St., York
ASHLEY'S PICK: Roast Pork Sandwich, $7.75; Double Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake, $2; Unsweetened ice tea, $1.50
HOURS: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
PRICE RANGE: $3.50 to $7.75
ACCEPTS: Cash and credit
KID'S MENU: No